European Court of Auditors head in Malta on Europe-wide ‘roadshow’

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna warns against taking the European institution for granted 

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Yannick Pace
26 June 2017, 5:54pm
European Court of Auditors President Klaus-Heiner Lehne and Finance Minister Edward Scicluna (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
European Court of Auditors President Klaus-Heiner Lehne and Finance Minister Edward Scicluna (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
The president of the European Court of Auditors (ECA), Klaus-Heiner Lehne has emphasised the need to reform the institution, which he said is tasked with overseeing some €145 billion in EU spending.

Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Finance, Lehne said that he was visiting Malta as part of a Europe-wide “road-show”, intended to help the European Court of Auditors to improve as an institution.

“Like every other institution it must improve in aspects of awareness, on the quality of our product and on a better strategy for us to really deliver something the people and our main stakeholders can use,” he said.

He said, that the ECA aimed to broaden the scope of its interests, looking beyond the process of obtaining funding and considering the results achieved by the initiative in question.

“We are trying to shift into the area of performance and not just compliance and numbers,” said Lehne.

In order to do so, he said, more resources were required, adding that the court of auditors was working closely with the council in order to work towards this end.

He said the ECA also needed a “clear and constructive checking systems”, insisting however that it would be counterproductive to have a process which is too bureaucratic.

Lehne said that it was his personal belief that the court of auditors played an important role in Europe, both in terms of getting better results, as well in regaining the trust of the people, especially in light of criticism on the way in which the EU functions.

On his part, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna emphasised the importance of the role played by the ECA in safeguarding the interests of the people of Europe.

He insisted there were many reports concerning Malta that were published by the court of auditors.

“These special reports, like those by our Auditor General, must be given their due importance,” said Scicluna.

He said that like many other institutions, the court of auditors might occasionally “be taken for granted”, adding however that the “this shouldn’t be so”.

“We are talking about taxpayers’ money… we are talking about our money, whether in Malta or in the European Union in general,” said Scicluna. 

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Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...